What is breastfeeding mean?
Breastfeeding is passing of human milk from the mother to the baby and the infant gets the milk directly straight from the mother’s breast. It is important that your baby’s diet or feed should supply all the needed essential nutrients for the rapid physical and mental growth and development of your newborn. Breast milk is great for your baby as it provides sufficient hydration and enough calories as well as vitamins and minerals and fat, protein, carbohydrates.
In Exclusive breastfeeding, the baby gets only breast milk only no solid food or other liquids. The other form of feeding the newborn is by human milk feeding, which is actually the expressed breast milk from the mother of the baby or a donor from the milk bank. Exclusive breast milk or iron-fortified formula feedings are sufficient for your baby to provide all dietary requirements from birth to up to 6 months of age.
Breast milk is best for your baby and also has numerous benefits for you. It’s a great way to bond with your baby. It can help your uterus contract to its normal size pre-pregnancy. Continues breastfeeding will help you to lose your pregnancy weight.
Tips for the first time Breastfeeding moms prior to breastfeed
Get prepare before your baby arrives
Breastfeeding for the very first time can be quite challenging. It may take some time to become comfortable, but the more prepared you are before your little arrives the better off it will be for both of you. Lactating is the ultimate form of bonding with your new bundle of joy and is very rewarding. For all new moms, it does take time in getting the hang of it, but you will.
Read more and find more about breastfeeding
While you are pregnant you may want to read as many breastfeeding books as you can get your hands on. Local bookstores and libraries are the best resources to get you on the right track to baby feeding. The World Wide Web also works. There are websites dedicated to new moms and breastfeeding along with other tips to get you through the first few months as a new parent. You can also purchase books online without having to leave your home.
Start breastfeeding community classes
Breastfeeding classes are quite helpful when you make the choice to not bottle-fed your newborn. You can search online or check your community and/or church for upcoming classes. Remember your obstetrician is one who can help you get started with the classes too. This will give you the opportunity to ventilate your concerns about lactation and formula feedings and you will be more aware beforehand.
Discuss with your health care provider during your hospital stay
While talking to friends or a group of other mothers that have been right where you are now is useful, it will only get you halfway. There will come the day when you come home without the tummy you left with, but in your arms, you will hold your new baby. In the hospital after delivery is when you should start breastfeeding.
Start breastfeed right away after birth
Babies are born with a natural suckling instinct and if they are started on breastfeeding immediately the process should go smoothly and stimulate breast milk. The latching onto the breast is one of the problems that new moms face when breastfeeding for the first time. Proper latching techniques should be discussed during your hospital stay.
Keep your newborn close to you for feeding
It is best to have your little one stay in the same room with you in the hospital if possible. This will make the transition to breastfeeding easier. It is comfortable and handy to feed when you are close by your baby, and when your baby wakes up at midnight or every couple of hours for feeding. If your baby is kept in the nursery at night make sure that they bring him to you at feeding time and do not use bottles at any time if he gets hungry.
Feed your baby often
Breastfeeding will become easier the more times than you do it and do not worry if your milk comes in late or seems like it is not getting your baby full. All the mothers worry about that and this is no exception. Feeding your newborn frequently can stimulate the production of breast milk and build an attachment and bonding between mother and baby.
Do not stress yourself
Before preparing for lactation you should make yourself stress-free and avoid any stressful environment, which is good for you and newborn. Good surrounding gives you a happy mood and a motivation so believe in yourself. Get support from your beloved ones and take advice and share your concerns with the breastfeeding specialist. It will be a great help to you prior to lactation.
Stay well-nourished and take enough rest
During this time most of the new moms are worried about their babies and baby feeding. You may have a question about the food you should avoid and what food you should take. You can talk to a lactation nutritionist regarding diet. Take a well-balanced diet and drink enough water. Avoid junk food, alcohol, and smoking during lactation. It can have adverse effects on your baby’s health.
How to Begin Breastfeeding
Join in advance Breastfeeding technique classes
Just because breastfeeding is natural does not make it any easier and it certainly is not spontaneous. Your preparation for breastfeeding begins while you are still pregnant and includes such things as using a cream on your breasts and nipples. You can learn the different latching techniques to prepare your breasts if you enrolled in a childbirth class.
Know about your baby’s needs
Once the baby is born, you will have to make sure that the staff at the hospital understands that you only want your baby to breastfeed. You do not want anyone giving your newborn a bottle of water, a bottle of formula, or even a pacifier. If you can keep the baby in the room with you to avoid the chances of your baby receiving a pacifier or bottle, by a nurse that forgets to read the chart.
It is most important to begin breastfeeding as soon as you can after delivery. In the very first few days you should feed your baby around every two or three hours or at least 8 to 12 times per day or as needed.
Look for a comfortable position to breastfeed
When you are ready to breastfeed, find a comfortable chair or position for nursing. Lean back just a bit with your feet on a low stool and lift up your knees a little. Place your baby next to your breast, if you think the room is a bit chilly; cover up with a receiving blanket. It may take a bit of persuading at first to get your baby to latch onto your breast. If you have to, you can gently place your nipple into the baby’s mouth and kind of hold it there until the baby begins to suck.
Change position while feeding your baby
You may also wish to try holding your baby in different positions until you find the most comfortable for you and baby.
The cradle position is when you lie with your baby up to your tummy with tummies touching. Your baby will be lying on baby’s side up against you if you need pillows to help support your baby that is fine. Hold your breast in a cupped manner with a thumb above the breast, gently rub your baby’s lip with your nipple until the baby opens mouth wide, and then place your nipple in your newborn mouth. You must do this quickly as he will close his mouth again.
If he does not have the areola in his mouth, you may have to have placed your finger in his mouth so the suction will be released and try again. Your baby should have the entire brown part of your nipple in mouth. Sometimes, your baby not able to get a good hold and it may be a bit painful or uncomfortable, if this happens you will once again have to break the suction and begin again.
Visit lactation specialist for any advises
It is always good to take advice from your health care provider or from the lactation expert. He can tell you more about perfect breastfeeding techniques and baby positioning while nursing. Moreover, if you are dealing with the common lactation problems such as sore and cracked nipples, breast engorgement, or any sort of breast milk related problems or infection it is wise t follow your doctor.
Some of the new mothers find breastfeeding very difficult because sometimes they feel embarrassed to feed the baby in society. It is generally common in first-time mothers. You can be stressed, but with the support of family especial your husband or other close family members, it will be easy and comfortable for you to deal with this. So try to ventilate your feelings and queries about feeding baby for the first time.
Breastfeeding is a natural add-on of pregnancy and childbirth. It is considerably more than essentially a method of providing nutrition for babies and boosting immunity. If you are a first-time mother it is important for you to prepare yourself mentally and physically for breastfeed.
Breastfeeding creates a strong and unique bonding between mother and baby. It is always good if you know a little about breastfeeding before you start feeding your baby to avoid common problems with breastfeeding later in life.
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I am experienced health professional (B.Sc. Nursing, P.GD Nursing). I am passionate to provide valuable information about Maternal and child Health. My goal is to provide the right and trustworthy information about pregnancy and baby care.